Hop on a SkyTrain and you’ll hear a woman’s voice on the public address system, telling you what line you’ve boarded and what station is coming up next.
Well, that voice belongs to Laureen Regan, president of Regan Productions, a video production company in Calgary, Alberta.
She’s been the voice of the SkyTrain since 2001, when the Millennium Line opened and new station announcements were required. We brought her back again when the Canada Line and Evergreen Extension opened to record additional announcements.
In July this year, we brought Vancouver-born actor Seth Rogen as the guest voice on transit. Seth added to Laureen’s SkyTrain station name announcements and talked about etiquette on transit and entertained and educated our customers on priority seating, bags and feet on seats, and many more transit etiquette issues. He also had interesting nuggets to share about Vancouver. If you missed your chance to listen to them on the system, worry not, because we’ve put them up online!
It’s been nearly two decades since Laureen came on board, and she continues to be THE SkyTrain lady for us and our customers.
Regan heard her voice on the train system for the first time shortly after the Millennium Line began service.
“I took the train and I laughed,” she says. “It was so amazing to hear it—to sit there and go, ‘Oh my God, that’s my voice.’ You remembered when you recorded it. … And everybody has no idea, which makes you laugh.”
Regan came to be the voice of the SkyTrain through her connection to Interalia, another Calgary-based company.
Interalia makes automated voice systems, and knew Regan had done voice work for her own productions in the past. They asked her to do a demo voice for their system, which they were about to show to TransLink for the Millennium Line.
Then, when TransLink bought the Interalia system, Regan was asked to record the real announcements for the trains.
Recording wasn’t too tough.
“Millennium Line is hard to say, I’ve got to say,” she says. “But I don’t remember any of the names being particularly difficult. The challenge sometimes with recording for places you don’t know is that you may not know the proper pronunciation [of local names].”
It’s a challenge she’s faced again over the years.
Regan has also done voice work for the Salt Lake City train system and the BART trains in San Francisco, both through Interalia
The chance to do voice work like this has been a gift, she says.
“It’s not been something that I’ve planned—it just happened. I enjoy it every time I do voicing. I love it.”
Do you have a favourite SkyTrain announcement? Tell us which one!
Listen to the Podcast
Regan’s interview was conducted as part of The Buzzer blog podcast. Have a listen!